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Smile and be a Villain

(Dorothy Martin #18)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A holiday on the picturesque island of Alderney leads to a case of cold-blooded murder for American Anglophile Dorothy Martin.
When Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired police detective Alan Nesbitt, decide to visit the beautiful island of Alderney in the English Channel, they hope for a pleasant, peaceful holiday. It s not to be. Taking a walk on their very first
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Severn House Publishers
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Smile and Be a Villain by Jeanne M. Dams.

Dorothy and Alan are hoping to relax and enjoy their two week vacation at the island of Alderney. Taking one of their usual walks together they find a body of a man who may have fallen to his death. The man, Abercrombie, has established himself in the small village bringing on mixed emotions by the villagers themselves. Some of which are not sorry to learn of his death.
Abercrombie's death has also brought on mixed emotions in both Alan and Dorothy. The
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I've missed a couple of books in this series, but had no problem picking up Smile. It stands alone well because Dorothy and Alan are on vacation in Alderney, a small island in the Channel Islands.

The book reads more like a travelogue than a mystery. We get lots of background and history, we go along with Dorothy and Alan on their touristy excursions. Of course, they stumble upon a body. But is it an accident or murder? Well, I'm sure you can guess what Dorothy and Alan think.

There's a lot to
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have read all of the books in this series but, to be honest, I miss the Dorothy I had come to love in the previous books. This Dorothy has lost her spark, her joy in living life to the fullest. Yes, she is older and reacts accordingly but she worries way too much and I wanted to sit her down and have a real heart to heart with her. As for the story...I loved the setting but the mystery dragged in places and I did do a bit of skipping pages. Overall, it's still an excellent series and I'm not ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: z2017-reads
I think Dorothy really needs to learn to just mind her own business. I really didn't get why she felt so compelled to mettle in this one. I felt kind of sorry for Alan. I think author needs to give her readers one novella where Dorothy and Alan have a really great vacation with no dead bodies.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is more of a 3.5 star book...just a bit too thin on the plot end for me, but an engaging read nonetheless.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan are off to Alderney for a fortnight's holiday. Naturally, with their record of finding dead bodies they stumble across one while out for a walk. It is the body of William Abercrombie - an Anglican priest from the US who seems to have polarised opinion on the island. Some people love him and think he is a force for good, others have horror stories to tell of his lack of concern for others and his suspected theft from church funds. Which group is right or is ...more
Jane Irish Nelson
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
This is a very thought-provoking story. If a rather despicable person dies in what could be either an accident or a murder, should anyone be punished for it, if it turns out to be murder?

This is the question facing Dorothy and Alan on their vacation on the island of Alderney, on of the Channel Islands. On their first day there, out for a hike, they come across a dead man. It turns out that while many people thought he was wonderful and extremely helpful, he was actually almost exactly the
Cristi McGill
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm late to the "Dorothy Martin" series. I only picked up this book because it is set in Alderney and I am planning a fall trip to the Channel Islands. I did not know anything about the characters or the author whom I learned is a fellow Hoosier.

Unlikely to win any prizes, this book is the perfect anecdote to some of the convoluted, red-herring packed mysteries that makes one think TOO hard. My biggest complaint with the 2 leads, Dorothy and Alan, is that they sleep and eat way too much. They
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
When Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired chief constable Alan Nesbit, decide to vacation on the charming Channel Island of Alderney, it's really not much of a surprise when they stumble across a dead body while out for a walk. The only surprise is that the dead man seems to have tripped on the steep path and died by accident. He was an American clergyman who volunteered to help out at the local church, and almost everyone loved him. As Dorothy begins to hear the stories from the people who ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the look inside the world of a woman transplanted into the world of England. Who marries a retired Police inspector and settles into his world. Thinks happen and murders occur that the two embark on solving. This is the 17th volume and i have read every single one. Very well written this one is about a killing in a small island off the coast of England where a most disagreeable character meets a nasty end. The ending for me is somewhat of a surprise i definitely didn't expect the murderer ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've so fully enjoyed all Jeanne Dams Dorothy Martin series. This wasn't one of the best. Dorothy comes across as moody and petulant. There were lovely "travel log" scenes, but they seemed inserted. Where's the spunky Dorothy? Where's Alan's cheerful cohort? Perhaps Dams was trying to create a dramatic mood, but it wasn't effective.
That said, the Dorothy Martin series is still better than many contemporarily written cozies.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
In this story, Dorothy and Alan take a vacation and fall into a situation that could just possibly be a murder ... and you know Dorothy cannot help but keep after it until she discovers the truth of it. As usual, an entertaining read.
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Lovely setting - it does make me want to explore this particular island. The mystery is a bit convoluted, but, on the other hand, for once Dorothy doesn't wave a red flag at the murderer and try to get her self killed, so it is an improvement over the last couple of books.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do not take a vacation with Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan. They end embroiled in a murder. I have never heard of the island of Alderney, but it does sound intriguing -- hedgehogs, bats, puffins, and all.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I love these books !! This was not my favorite one though too much history about the island that I didn't care for and I didn't really like any of the characters except the two main ones ! I also like the fact that the author lives in South Bend which is where I live !
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Poor Dorothy is old and cranky and eats and naps all day long. Lol
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one kept me guessing right to the end. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a decent read until the solution. Really? How disappointing. I got tired of the daily naps too and Dorothy ‘s whining. Alan is a saint.

Jeanne Dams and her Dorothy Martin have been favorites of mine for years. I haven't read the whole series yet, and in fact was a bit startled to find that this one is the seventeenth book – it's nice to have a backlog of pretty reliable quick and fun reads, but I had no idea that much time had gone by.

Dorothy is an American ex-pat in England, basically living the life I would claw any random person's eyes out for. She and retired-Chief-Constable-husband Alan Nesbitt plan to enjoy a vacation on
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Dorothy Martin and her retired police detective husband, Alan Nesbitt, are looking forward to a relaxing holiday on Alderney, a picturesque island in the English Channel. All is not what they anticipate, however, when on their first day, they discover the body of a man on a cliff path. Although there is no evidence to suggest that this is anything other than an unfortunate accident, their suspicions are piqued when some unsavoury revelations come to light that paints the victim in a ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I have loved this series from the very first book, The Body in the Transept, where we are introduced to Dorothy Martin, a sixty-something expat from Indiana to the fictional town of Sherebury, England. She is a recent widow. Move ahead several years and she is married to the retired Chief Constable, Alan Nesbitt, of their shire and they are on holiday at Alderney Island of the Channel Islands. Right on cue, they discover a dead body. A visiting American Episcopal priest, William Abercrombie has ...more
Jean Kolinofsky
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for a review. Vacationing on Alderney, one of the Channel Islands, is supposed to be relaxing. There are nature preserves, hiking trails and, unfortunately, a dead body. While the death may be the result of an accident on a steep trail, Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan Nesbitt feel a responsibility to find the truth after discovering the body. Alan is a former police inspector and Dorothy has not been a stranger to murder ...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Smile And Be A Villain by Jeanne M Dams.

4 stars

A mystery set in the beautiful island of Alderney...

'Smile And Be A Villain' is the eighteenth mystery featuring Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan. Although I haven't read any others in this series, I certainly enjoyed the setting and plot as it unravelled.

Dorothy and Alan, a retired couple just wanted to enjoy a peaceful holiday in Alderney, but they became embroiled in the mystery of what actually happened to an American visiting priest named
Anam Cara
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(Date may be wrong as I read this on a cruise and didn't keep track of the dates I was reading)

Not the best, but excellent as always!

Dorothy and her husband have gone for a simple holiday to an island in the English channel. Of course, nothing is simple for them and while on one of their walks, they discover a body.

The deceased is an American Episcopal priest who apparently is emigrating to the UK. During the short time he has been in the village he has developed a following of many admirers.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy, mystery
Dorothy and her husband Alan are off on a two-week holiday to visit the charming island of Alderney. But taking a hike up a rather steep hill, they chance to discover a body on the trail, and all hopes of a peaceful time away are gone. The victim turns out to be a relocated priest from America, and Dorothy cannot resist finding out how a fellow American came to die on an island so far from home. The more she and Alan dig into the priest’s past, the stranger the case becomes. It seems that this ...more
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Dorothy and Alan take a vacation to the channel island of Alderney. But it's a busman's holiday for them of course, since they stumble across a body the first day out. The best part of this book are the things that we learn about the island, it's geography and history and idiosyncrasies. It's a place I'll never go, but now I feel as though I've been there. The resolution of the crime, if there is one, is well done. Throughout the book we are introduced to many villagers and get to know many of ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dorothy and her retired detective husband, Alan, have gone to Alderney for a relaxing vacation. They plan to take lots of walks on the scenic island, but on their first hike along a cliff, they find a dead man. The police rule it an accident, but Dorothy and Alan can't help wondering whether he was murdered. The dead man was active in the local church and loved by (almost) everyone. Was he too good to be true? Smile and Be a Villain is a good British cozy with tales of forgiveness and letting ...more
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I love the way Dorothy does let her age (or her knees) stop her from sleuthing. This time she and Alan are visiting Alderney (one of the Channel Islands) and, of course, stumble over a dead body. The ending is a bit disappointing but Dorothy and Alan's response is completely appropriate.
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoyed all Jeanne Dams' Dorothy Martin books and look forward to each new one eagerly. Each is a cozy English mystery with a nice dose of tea and travel, this time to the island of Alderney.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love all her books. The killer and the why are a surprise. I want a husband like Dorothy's!
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Jeanne M. Dams lives in South Bend, Indiana. The Body in the Transept, which introduced Dorothy Martin, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Dams is also the author of Green Grow the Victims and other Hilda Johansson mysteries published by Walker & Company.

Other books in the series

Dorothy Martin (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Body In The Transept (Dorothy Martin, #1)
  • Trouble In The Town Hall (Dorothy Martin, #2)
  • Holy Terror In The Hebrides (Dorothy Martin, #3)
  • Malice In Miniature (Dorothy Martin, #4)
  • The Victim In Victoria Station (Dorothy Martin, #5)
  • Killing Cassidy (Dorothy Martin, #6)
  • To Perish In Penzance (Dorothy Martin, #7)
  • Sins Out Of School (Dorothy Martin, #8)
  • Winter Of Discontent (Dorothy Martin, #9)
  • A Dark And Stormy Night (Dorothy Martin, #10)